Use Stories to Help Sales And Marketing Sell More
Once you’ve experienced the power of stories to sell you will never approach a marketing or sales opportunity without one.
Apply neuromarketing principles to stories to trigger your customers’ buy buttons.
WHY STORIES WORK
Stories derive their power by appealing to our earliest brain (we have three) that evolved hundreds of millions of years ago. To our old brain, stories are like old, trusted friends.
STORIES APPEAL TO OUR SURVIVAL INSTINCT
The old brain is our instinctual, survival brain. The brain composes just 2% of body mass but can consume as much as 25% of its energy. Its purpose is to help us survive by preserving energy and avoiding wasting energy. This means using energy efficiently, effectively, and as sparingly as possible. Selling effectiveness can be interpreted as appealing to the survival instinct of your customers.
To the old brain of your customers, great stories are stories of survival. These gain attention, engage the customer with your message, and trigger their buy button.
HOW STORIES WORK
Stories stimulate our old brain is positive and productive ways. According to SalesBrain, the old brain is stimulated in only 6 ways, and the most powerful selling stories contain these 6 stimuli:
1. Focused on the listener (Self-centeredness): the old brain is exclusively concerned with its own survival. Only what threatens or protects its survival is important; the survival of others is not its concern.
2. Contrast: contrast makes it easy for the old brain to distinguish between what is or is not important. The more contrast, the more the old brain takes notice.
3. Tangible: the more tangible the deliverables in a story, the more appealing the story. The old brain does not want to conceptualize or think deeply about what it hopes to gain.
4. Beginning and End: The old brain prefers to have a strong beginning and end to the story, with both focused on what’s in it for the listener. In this way, the brain more easily replicates the full story with ease and without much energy.
5. Visual: concrete visuals (e.g. props) and visually exciting words trigger the old brain and keep it activated.
6. Emotion: emotions help trigger the stimuli and are the glue that holds the story together.
PAIN MAKE STORIES MORE POWERFUL
Focus on pain over benefits. The removal of pain is more important that the gain of benefits.
POWER FORMULA FOR WRITING STORIES
Center your story and presentation around your customers’ pain, make it tangible with concrete examples, make it visual, add emotional components like fear and drama, and differentiate your product or service by ending with a high contrast relief to the beginning pain.
HOW TO UNCOVER AND WRITE YOUR STORIES
Contact me to discuss how we can uncover and write your most powerful selling story.
Photo Credit: via flickr creative commons alicepopkorn.
Learn more from this webinar produced by SalesBrain on the power of stories. This served as the basis of much of the content in this blog post.Mission: To help small and mid-size businesses sell more by re-thinking their business and marketing strategies.